June is almost upon us. I find this remarkable. It seems that just yesterday we were celebrating the new year – and now suddenly we’re six months in! Whew – talk about time flying.
We are supposed to start shopping for our homestead this month. Choosing a property to which we will retire and become self sustaining. I anticipate this being many things… a lot of work, exciting, and even heart rending I’m sure as we agonize over which place will suit us best.
I want to be closer to my grandsons – and am being pulled in that direction. Yet I don’t really want to leave these mountains, and I honestly don’t think he does either. So… we shall shop – and we shall find that perfect place… the one for us. And we shall homestead the hell out of it.
What about you, what would you look for in a new abode?
You know, moving is never easy. It is always an experience – most often a bad one. Yet, here I stand. Two years shy of 50 preparing to retire and embark on the most challenging journey of my life. This is going to be interesting to say the least. I’m sure that it will be fraught with peril. And joy. I know there will be a lot of joy.
Soon, our lives will change forever and we join countless others making a trip back. Back to a time where each and every family could sustain its own members with the fruits of their labor. Where a bushel of tomatoes was worth a pound or so of flour, or sugar. A time when working meant something – and not working meant you may not survive the winter. It’s not a lifestyle for the faint of heart, this is for sure.
Animals don’t care that you’re in pain, sick, or tired… they must be tended to every single day, regardless of the circumstances. Crops cannot be left to moulder in the field because you don’t “feel” like doing anything today. One night could mean total loss. You don’t get a pass on your birthday, sick days, or vacation.
Each and every day is another opportunity to provide security for yourself and your family. There are some pretty specific skills that are required to do something like this… Things I’m pretty sure I’ll need to know:
- Canning and preserving vegetables, meats, and fruits
- Growing, tending, and harvesting a year round garden to feed 4
- Raising and caring for goats, chickens, pigs, and eventually cows
- Making paper, soap, laundry detergent, and other toiletries
- Rainwater catchment and purification skills
- Basic first aid – human and animal
- Irrigation, carpentry, basic plumbing
- Fire Building and charcoal production
- more, much, much, more…
You know, there is a lot that goes into becoming self sustaining. I know that it’s not going to be easy… sometimes it’s not going to be exactly “fun”… but all the time it’s going to be rewarding. That’s what counts. Utilizing your God given skills to care for yourself. I’m excited to begin this next phase of my life. I know that my future holds untold adventures. I look forward to sharing the experience with you all. Stay tuned…